Are you tired of attending Business Award Ceremonies and coming way empty handed?  Do you wait patiently each year in anticipation, only to watch another team walk away with the accolade? Or perhaps you feel deflated when you thumb through your Business Sector magazine and read articles of a team that’s smashed their targets for the third year running?  The secret to High Performing teams is, of course, teamwork.

As a manager, it’s important to know the keys to developing an effective team.  Let’s have a look at seven ways you can do this:

  1. Communication – Sounds like a simple thing, but if a team doesn’t communicate effectively how do they know what goals each other have and what the expected outcomes are? Effective team communication is essential to the success of the group in performing its role as well as to the morale of staff and their motivation to succeed at work.
  2. Utilizing varied strengths and abilities - Team leaders should never forget that one of the key benefits of teamwork is the individual strengths of its members. Some members can be good organisers, others are innovative, others may be good motivators.  Remember that it can be the blend of different strengths which makes a team effective.       
  3. Goals - The whole team must understand what the goals are and should be committed to achieving them. Goals give the team clear direction, if there is an agreed purpose and specific path to be followed it will promote effective teamwork. The team clarity is reinforced when the organization gives clear guidance relating to the team's work, goals, accountability, and outcomes.
  4. Cooperation - Cooperation means working together, for everyone’s benefit.  Work teams succeed only when all staff are fully ‘on-board’ in sharing ideas and undertaking tasks. These cooperative qualities make an individual much more valuable to his team. Getting actively involved and cooperating also earns the respect of other team members, making them more susceptive to hearing your ideas.
  5. Managing Conflict - Provide specific and detailed instructions on how to resolve problems that arise among team members.  This will instill teamwork by encouraging members to solve issues efficiently and productively. Instead of creating a culture of blame in the workplace, create an atmosphere of being proactive and solution oriented.
  6. Participative Leaders - This is demonstrated when leading meetings, assigning tasks, recording decisions and commitments, assessing progress, holding team members accountable, and giving directives to the team.
  7. Effective decision making - A confident and effective team leader looks to the team for answers and welcomes constructive challenges and suggestions for alternative courses of action.  On occasion, the leader must be prepared to take difficult decisions and be willing to explain the basis on which they have been taken

Of course, this is not a definitive list.  Why not also think about ways to motivate, reward and bring your team together?  Have you considered implementing a Recognition Program for staff? Or, you may want to encourage social activities outside of the work environment. There are also many companies that offer team building activities in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other UK cities.

Whatever you decide, be sure that your efforts to improve teamwork will result in a greater performance and you never know, maybe the odd shiny accolade for you to put pride of place in the office!

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